NEW YORK. Just a day after the announcement that IBM would collaborate with the New York Genome Centre to tackle Glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, IBM’s super-computer Watson has proposed a cure.
The proposed cure – the number 42 – has surprised oncologists, many of whom remain sceptical that using an abstract concept such as 42 will have any kind of effect on cancer patients.
“What we’ve learned, throughout decades of research, is that cancer is an incredibly complex disease, the treatment of which is equally complex. It seems very unlikely that the number 42 is the answer” said Dr Hal Ninethousand, a clinician at Massachusetts General Hospital.
IBM are one of the largest IT companies in the world, and have been trying (way too hard) for many years to become relevant in the field of biological research. IBM’s Watson computer recently won a game of Jeopardy, proving Watson‘s ability to answer natural language questions. The New York Genome Centre, a clone of The Broad Institute, utilise the latest DNA sequencing technologies to address questions in biological research.
“You can’t just stick DNA sequence data into a computer, ask it ‘How do you cure cancer?’ and expect a decent answer; or if you do, ’42’ is the kind of answer you’ll get. Who makes this stuff up?” continued Dr Ninethousand.
Despite the sceptics, the number 42 will enter clinical trials this month. In what many see as a copycat move, clinical trials on the efficacy of the colour blue and the emotion sadness will begin later this year.